Today my facebook wall was awash with sarcasm, warnings to be heeded and general disgust at the start of October! And, no it wasn’t an outcry at Pumpkin Oreos or even Pumpkin M&M’s… no, it was the fact that today was the start of breast cancer awareness month.
Even before I survived my bout with breast cancer, I love loved breast cancer awareness month. Not just for all things pink but because it gave me a chance to support companies that donated money to awareness, support, education, free mammograms, research and prevention. YES, all of that is helped every single day. EVERY DAY.
So, let’s see if I can do this without ranting…. I am fully aware that many of you feel this month is awash in pink, that marketers and companies alike are taking advantage of something that is killing women, that devastates families EVERY DAY. I am quite certain there are, coz there are icky people in this world.
Instead, I am going to point out… as a survivor, I don’t need reminders about any of this. I see it in the mirror EVERY DAY. I have the scars, neuropathy, the nightmares and I will never ever forget. I know how hard it is to get out of bed knowing you are going to spend hours getting horrible drugs pumped into your body. I know how hard it is to see the look of devastation on your family and friends faces when they look at the hell chemo has wrecked on you, I know how hard it is to watch your hair fall out in clumps and then when it does grow back, it’s awful. I know how hard it is to walk into get a mammogram every 6 months to see if the cancer is back and I know how hard it is to carry around fear and anger with you EVERY DAY.
I applaud the companies that have launched campaigns today. I cheer for them EVERY DAY as they support the 1 in 8 women that get diagnosed with breast cancer EVERY DAY. I spend my hard earned money with them this month knowing that they are going to help someone facing the dreaded diagnosis, or educate a young women in early detection, or funding a free mammogram to a women that can’t afford one or helping out with bills to a family who is in the middle of their cancer treatment.
No, I don’t need a reminder, a pretty pen or lovely new shirt to remind me that I am a survivor, I doubt my friends need a reminder either. I know that when I wear my tank top that says Go, Fight, Win… people don’t know I am a survivor. I do know, cancer makes people uncomfortable, it terrifies them. I know people don’t know how to have awkward conversations, even more will just ignore getting a mammogram or walk away from a friend that has cancer from fear or being uncomfortable. I know that this month, celebrates survivors. This month tells these brave men and women’s stories EVERY DAY. That is puts breast cancer front and center in the public! It’s hard to ignore talking about your favorite quarterback wearing pink cleats or the man smiling in the middle of Times Square in a bright pink tutu.
I’ve talked about all my favorite non-profits before…. I’ve linked them below. Donate this month or never. Share about them. More importantly, rather than rolling your eyes in disgust about #Pinktober and #PinkWashing… learn about which companies are doing good, where your money can help the most.
EVERY DAY, I am thankful for the care, support and experience, I recieved. I don’t need this month to remind me about breast cancer or remember the people that helped me. I do think we need to talk about it. We need more! More advocates, education, early detection and resources to help those with the disease. There will always be someone that needs to get a mammogram, that needs help getting to chemo, that needs a shoulder to cry on or even just needs buy something with a pink ribbon.
We need to share the stories, celebrate the wins, celebrate the lives lost, honor those that are working tirelessly to help and recognize that EVERY DAY, the story you share, the pink ribbon on your car, the pink tutu may save someone.
My bewbies, tried to kill me. I carry the scars. #BewbLuv will be EVERY DAY.